The Common Principles have been at the very center of the author's professional practice. When she first read Ted Sizer's writing and learned about the Coalition of Essential Schools, she felt as though he was talking directly to her. Not only did every word of the then nine Common Principles make sense, but after reading Sizer's work, her own teaching also started to make more sense. She began to understand and therefore become more deliberate about the moves she was making with her students. She had known enough to understand instinctively that theatre and the arts were the perfect context for real and meaningful learning for kids. She had seen that there was no more perfect exhibition than the one that took place on the stage, but now she had the back-up of a disciplined and explicit language to help make sense of the power of the arts to transform students. In this article, the author describes how she found her own voice as a teacher through Sizer's writing and through his quiet, revolutionary voice. And the deeper she got into her teaching, the closer she was getting to becoming a leader.